Welcome to the 47th edition of the CX by Design Ideas newsletter. This is a monthly mailing by your hosts, Lis Hubert and Diana Sonis, where we focus on sharing human-centered ideas for business. This month, we’re discussing how to fill CX skill gaps in your company.
Growing CX Capabilities in Your Organization
It’s true that each company has unique CX needs. It’s equally true that CX needs change over time. If you’ve discovered gaps in your CX team, what can you do to fill them?
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of 5 ways to grow CX capabilities in your organization.
1. Hiring a Freelancer
Freelance CX experts are a great and cost-effective way to quickly fill a need in your company – especially if you only need help in one area or for a limited time. And, depending on your local regulations, freelancers can save you money. The freelancer may be responsible for their own insurance, equipment costs, taxes, etc.
On the other hand, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to find a reliable freelancer that understands your needs. Plus, their availability can be limited; most freelancers have multiple clients at any given tine.
Overall, we’d recommend hiring a freelancer when you need temporary help on a large initiative. A freelancer can also be great if you only need their skills a few hours per week or in one very specific area.
2. Hiring a New Employee
Traditionally, this has been the path most businesses take to expand their CX skills. It makes sense if you want someone to really buy into your team and its success. It’s also a great way to quickly add strategic insight, research and analysis capabilities, or whatever your CX team needs.
The downside is that hiring a new employee is notoriously expensive. And while it’s a faster route to expertise than upskilling or re-skilling current employees, there’s no guarantee that the new hire will fit into your organization – or stick around for long.
Let’s have a quick reality check. If you have a long list of CX needs, it’s unlikely that one person will fill them all; you may need to hire multiple people.
A new hire can be the right path if you understand what skills you need and how you'll fit the newcomer into your current team. You'll also need time to search out and onboard the new employee.
3. Employee Training / Reskilling
It’s no surprise that successful enterprises tend to hire and promote from inside their organization. They know this employee understands their organization and its culture. They also know how motivated the employee is to grow professionally.
Training employees in CX isn’t a quick fix, though. It can be expensive and time-consuming, often requiring expert-led programs and learning sessions.
If your company CX is too much for one person to handle – yet not enough to support a full team – CX training across teams can be the right solution.
4. Team Leasing
In team leasing, you can effectively hire a complete CX team from another company. Depending on the service agreement, you may even manage them in-house for the duration of your contract.
This can be an effective way to quickly acquire CX capabilities. However, it’s also quite expensive. And once the team lease is up, you’re still left with running the day-to-day CX; post-project support may or may not be part of the contract.
We’d recommend team leasing only for time-limited projects where CX is a major part of the strategy.
5. Partnering with CX Consultants
If you know you need to grow CX skills but you’re unsure what needs to be done – or how to do it – CX consultants can be your guides. They offer more services than your average solo freelancer, and you can engage them for as long a time (or as big a project) as you need.
Often, businesses turn to CX consultants to build a new CX team or refine their current team. Consultants are ideally placed to lead CX training initiatives.
As a rule, CX consultants have a lot of industry experience; this means they’re more expensive than hiring an individual freelancer or onboarding a new employee.
The value of CX consultants really shines when you need to implement larger projects that involve multiple stakeholders and departments. The effects of hiring a competent CX consultant can be felt throughout the organization; see our case study on A Roadmap for Omnichannel Transformation Using Near Term Strategy for an example.
What if you need to grow your CX and you’re not sure what path to take? Talk with an experienced CX professional or two. Find out what worked for them. And remember, you can always book a free 30-minute consultation with CX by Design to discuss your options!
Join Lis on November 2, 2023 for a virtual discussion of the customer journey and how to use customer journey maps to understand it. This free online event is being hosted by Hudson Valley Can Code. Join and register here →